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New Horizons for Marcus Hutchinson as Howth Man Departs TR Racing's Vendee Globe Race Campaign

20th March 2022
Marcus Hutchinson
Marcus Hutchinson

Marcus Hutchinson of Howth and Kinsale is leaving France's TR Racing, where he was team manager for Thomas Ruyant during the last Vendée Globe campaign.

Hutchinson took on the role in January 2018 and is credited by solo skipper Ruyant as being one of the linchpins of the team's performance.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the Hutchinson-managed Vendee Globe-entered IMOCA 60 provided major publicity for the not-for-profit social organisation LinkedOut. 

Of his TR departure, Hutchinson said (in a post translated from French) "We started from scratch in January 2018. We didn't even have a screwdriver in our name when Thomas and Laurent Bourguès asked me to join them,"  “Thomas had a very clear vision and great motivation to set up a successful project off the beaten track. Together, in "start-up" mode, we have put together a great team and we have built a beautiful boat with the support of Advens. We did quite well in sporting terms with fine podiums, successful competitions and a landslide victory in the Transat Jacques Vabre. We can also be proud to have generated enormous media value around our project, directly broadcast to a very important societal cause, and all this in a difficult context linked to the health crisis.

“I would like to thank Thomas and his entourage for giving me this opportunity, for having confidence in my choices and for having shared this adventure with so much class. I wish the TR Racing team all the best for the future. I know they will continue to do great things on the water and on land. Thanks again and keep doing better and better". 

Ruyant said “For many years, Marcus has done a lot of good for French sailing, bringing his vision to our community and encouraging foreign sailors to join our circuits, particularly on the Solitaire du Figaro. I met him when he was in charge of the Figaro Artemis. He joined TR Racing at the start of our 2020 Vendée Globe campaign. We are starting a new cycle in our operation with the rise of our team, our coming season aboard our LinkedOut sailboat, the construction of Advens 2 for the next World Tour. I wish good luck to Marcus for the rest of his great journey". 

Hutchinson has worked on five America's Cup events during his career, and has been coach and mentor for major solo ocean racing campaigns including the Figaro and Vendée Globe and spoke to Afloat's Lorna Siggins in a podcast here in 2021 about Ireland's prospects of hosting the America's Cup.

Published in Vendee Globe
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The 2020/2021 Vendée Globe Race

A record-sized fleet of 33 skippers will start the ninth edition of the Vendée Globe: the 24,296 nautical miles solo non-stop round-the-world race from Les Sables d’Olonne in France, on Sunday, November 8 at 1302hrs French time/1202hrs TU and will be expected back in mid-January 2021.

Vendée Globe Race FAQs

Six women (Alexia Barrier, Clarisse Cremer, Isabelle Joschke, Sam Davies, Miranda Merron, Pip Hare).

Nine nations (France, Germany, Japan, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, and Great Britain)

After much speculation following Galway man Enda O’Coineen’s 2016 race debut for Ireland, there were as many as four campaigns proposed at one point, but unfortunately, none have reached the start line.

The Vendée Globe is a sailing race round the world, solo, non-stop and without assistance. It takes place every four years and it is regarded as the Everest of sailing. The event followed in the wake of the Golden Globe which had initiated the first circumnavigation of this type via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn) in 1968.

The record to beat is Armel Le Cléac’h 74 days 3h 35 minutes 46s set in 2017. Some pundits are saying the boats could beat a sub-60 day time.

The number of theoretical miles to cover is 24,296 miles (45,000 km).

The IMOCA 60 ("Open 60"), is a development class monohull sailing yacht run by the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA). The class pinnacle events are single or two-person ocean races, such as the Route du Rhum and the Vendée Globe.

Zero past winners are competing but two podiums 2017: Alex Thomson second, Jérémie Beyou third. It is also the fifth participation for Jean Le Cam and Alex Thomson, fourth for Arnaud Boissières and Jérémie Beyou.

The youngest on this ninth edition of the race is Alan Roura, 27 years old.

The oldest on this ninth edition is Jean Le Cam, 61 years old.

Over half the fleet are debutantes, totalling 18 first-timers.

The start procedure begins 8 minutes before the gun fires with the warning signal. At 4 minutes before, for the preparatory signal, the skipper must be alone on board, follow the countdown and take the line at the start signal at 13:02hrs local time. If an IMOCA crosses the line too early, it incurs a penalty of 5 hours which they will have to complete on the course before the latitude 38 ° 40 N (just north of Lisbon latitude). For safety reasons, there is no opportunity to turn back and recross the line. A competitor who has not crossed the starting line 60 minutes after the signal will be considered as not starting. They will have to wait until a time indicated by the race committee to start again. No departure will be given after November 18, 2020, at 1:02 p.m when the line closes.

The first boat could be home in sixty days. Expect the leaders from January 7th 2021 but to beat the 2017 race record they need to finish by January 19 2021.

Today, building a brand new IMOCA generally costs between 4.2 and €4.7million, without the sails but second-hand boats that are in short supply can be got for around €1m.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance - Vendee Globe 2024

The 10th edition will leave from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 10, 2024

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